UFC Euro Fight Night series coming

The UFC’s plans for international expansion continue to be
molded into shape as
UFC’s executive vice president in charge of the
European, Middle Eastern and African regions
Garry Cook laid
out a plan designed to grow the market and eventually stage events
that would be specifically produced for local markets. In other
words, not designed for U.S. audiences.

The plan would be to create a UFC Fight Night series with a
minimum of six events in 2014, and the objective would be to give
the UFC’s European broadcast partners primetime programming and
create regional stars.

Presently, most UFC events that are broadcast live from North
America air from 3-6 am in the U.K. The proposed European Fight
Night event series wouldn’t require such time sacrifices, and would
air at a more standard time for sporting events in primetime. Cook
said the Fight Night shows could possibly air on Friday or Saturday
nights.

For 2014, London has already been targeted for kicking off the
series in the spring, while Istanbul was also mentioned as a likely
landing spot. Other cities including Dublin, Lodz, Glasgow and
Berlin are also frontrunners for events.

The hope is that contenders rise in the areas that host shows
and begin to open up and develop markets.

“I think there’s got to be a little bit more purpose in our
European events,” he said. “You have to be fighting for a reason,
for something, and that’s important. We can’t have a tournament, as
you well know. It’s very difficult to do that, but we do see the
opportunity to create more European champions.”

Cook said he believed it would not be long until the UFC was
doing 12 to 16 events per year in the region.